Category: prose

Humdrum Days

As a writer, do you ever get those writing days where time seems to go backwards and the tick of a wall clock is louder than your thoughts? I do, on a regular basis. I refer to them as ‘humdrum days.’

Humdrum, has an almost onomatopoeic feel about it. The Oxford Dictionary lists it’s meaning as….

Is Shakespeare Overrated?

The British actress, Dame Judy Dench, once said “a bad experience of Shakespeare is like a bad oyster – it puts you off for life.”

This, it appears, is the case for me.

Before you all start screaming, “Philistine,” I would like to put on record, Shakespeare is probably the greatest and most influential writer to have graced this planet. The fact his work, 400 years on,..

Saturday Never Comes

His history is bullet-pointed on laminated paper and pinned to his bedroom door. I never knew, after the war, he was a goalkeeper for Somebody United, winning trophies and medals. There’s nothing to suggest this amongst his sparse belongings on his small desk; a fading photograph, some medication and wet-wipes, and a half-empty jar of Everton Mints. We sit on his bed and stare into space, and I notice he has goalkeepers’ hands, huge and agitated, as he runs them along the fraying fabric of his trousers.  I wonder what game he is dreaming of. How would I know? I wasn’t around often enough to be part of his fading memories.

Ash

Grandad taught him how to make a coal fire. He would wait to hear the outside coal bunker being rattled, then grab his blanket and run downstairs, taking pole position on the sofa overlooking the fireplace. Something hypnotic floated in a cold morning air. A soft hush from ash, shovelled from under the stool-grate and placed on yesterday’s headlines.  Miner’s hands turned and twisted; paper turned into perfect firelighters. Precision and experience constructed beds of coal and kindling. A strike of a match, the thud of a damper. Golden glows filled the room. He laid back and breathed in the magic.